Labour MPs representing Leave constituencies have indicated they could support Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill before seeking to amend it.
Lisa Nandy and Gloria De Piero signalled their possible backing of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at second reading so it can reach committee stage and undergo detailed scrutiny.
Intervening during Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, Nandy said: “Does he understand why those of us in seats that voted very heavily to Leave, who stood on a manifesto in 2017 that said we’d respect the result of the referendum, feel very strongly this Bill must be allowed to proceed to committee stage so we can engage in the detail of the debate and see if there is a possibility of getting a Brexit deal that protects our constituents.
“For many people back home in towns like Wigan this is an article of faith in the Labour Party and in democracy, and that those of us who are seeking to engage in the detail do so not because we’ll support a Tory Brexit – our votes at third reading are by no means secure – but because we want to see if we can improve this deal and keep people’s trust in our democracy.”
De Piero added: “I am also minded to vote in favour of a second reading, not because I support that deal but because I don’t.
“And I want to improve the deal so it reflects the manifesto that I stood on to respect the result of that referendum – but to leave with a deal that protects job and trade. Does he understand my motivation?”
Corbyn, in his reply, said he fully understood her concerns.
MORE: Labour rebel says he will back Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill – but hasn’t actually read it He added: “I hope that she will understand why I believe this Bill should not be given a second reading, but I’m also sure she will agree with me that to get this Bill to debate less than 17 hours after it was published is a totally unreasonable way of treating Parliament and I hope she will also join in the lobby this evening in opposing the programme motion on this particular Bill.”